The new 20th Century Fox movie “Exodus” will not be shown in Egypt due to its numerous inaccuracies and “Zionist view,” according to the Egyptian culture minister, Gaber Asfour, in an Agence France-Presse report. The biblical film focuses on the role of Moses in facilitating the escape of thousands of enslaved Jews from Egypt. 20th Century Fox declined to comment on the statements.
In the story of Moses in the book of Exodus in the Bible, Moses was imbued by God with miraculous powers to help him in his task of freeing the Jews from Egypt’s tyranny. Among these powers was the power to part the Red Sea for the escape of the Jews, after which the part disappeared, trapping scores of Egyptians under the waters of the sea. The film reportedly cost $140 million to make.
Among the inaccuracies listed is the fact that the main players in the movie are white, instead of reflecting the true historical population of the country. According to the Egyptian official, the movie also falsely portrays the Jews as the builders of the pyramids and distorts the portrayal of Moses. The Egyptian ban is the second ban on the movie by an Arab country. Morocco has also released a statement that the movie will be banned from distribution in the country. That ban was reported shortly before the film’s planned release on Christmas Day.
Other Hollywood films about religious history have been banned in the region in the past. Films in which actors portray biblical figures or prophets are often banned in the region because of religious prohibitions on the depiction of prophets by regular people. A DreamWorks animated film, “The Prince of Egypt,” was banned in Egypt in 1998. “Noah,” another biblical adventure released earlier this year was also banned.
International disputes seem to be dogging American films in the end of 2014. Earlier this month, the controversial comedy, “The Interview,” was seen as the catalyst of a devastating cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and terroristic threats made against any theaters that screened the movie. The movie, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was initially pulled from distribution, and then released online and in a limited number of theaters on Christmas Day.